Of Pipes, Trilbys and Events That Never Happened

June 1, 2010

This guy looks familiar as all hell...

Announcing the blog debut of the best-kept worst-kept “secret” in this corner of blogland: Clifton L. Tanager, unreliable narrator.

Extensive thanks are in order for Don Mills, without whom this personality would not exist. Several months ago Don asked me to write a piece for his blog, The Problem with Young People Today Is… Unfortunately, due to circumstances both seemingly fortuitous and mostly out of his control, this piece never saw the light of day. Although he never made his official published debut, Clifton soldiered on as a rambling commenter on various blogs.

(I’ve selected a few favorites below if you’re unfamiliar with his disturbing and dislocated monologues. All links will open in a new window.)

More articulate, meandering and deliberate than my usual self, the other “CLT” tends to steer clear of musical advice, expletives and very little else. For every “fuck” that is unspoken, a horrifying story of wartime venereal disease rises in its place. For every up-to-the-minute band that goes undiscussed, another soul-crushing workplace anecdote is recounted.

Available now in blog form, Clifton L. Tanager will be giving you a weekly dosage of advice you don’t need and answers you didn’t ask for, only at:

Unsolicited Advice



  1. A toast (I don’t drink so I’m holding a hypodermic filled with a sweet, sweet amber colored fluid) to Clifton, “May he bathe in success the way that lesser men bathe in bathwater!” –No that sucked.

    “May he bathe in success the way that rich men bathe in the blood of poor men’s babies.” –not very upbeat …hmm.

    “May the road rise to meet him. May the wind be always at his back. And may the sun always shine warm upon his face.” –That’ll do. Anytime I’m in doubt I turn to Blow.

    • Haha Scott, love how your knowledge of lovely old poems/blessings is attributed to pop culture! Reminds me of how Bon Jovi taught me everything I know….

      And yes, of course, welcome to the dude in the hat, he is familiar as hell…

    • To tell you the truth, Scott, I’m kind of partial to both of your first attempts, particularly the second one. But maybe that’s just my fixation on the under-popular but overly-staticky Grave Babies.

      I’ll take the third because it makes the most sense and I’ll be able to quote it elsewhere without having to unravel a convoluted justification for being flattered by the suggestion that I bathe in the blood of babies.

      Thanks for the props, Scott. And thanks for the warm welcome, R2S. Bon Jovi attempted to teach me everything I know as well, until he lost his teaching degree and privileges for “embellishing the virtues of New Jersey.”

  2. I knew it!! Same initials? Possible coincidence. Same brilliant narrative and captivating prose? One in a trillion. CLT Jr is a chip off the old block of CLT Sr (or is it the other way around in this case?). I bow before both.

    • I think they’re both chips of the old/young block of each other. I don’t know if they’re complimentary but I do know that one swears a whole lot less than the other one.

      However, neither CLT shies away from layering on thick layers of innuendo.

      Thanks for the compliments and bowing, e3h.

  3. I wrote this 5/26/10 but didn’t get the cahnce to post it because Tanager beat me again:

    “Bschooled, I am writing this comment a full week ahead of your next post and as such, this comment will understandably have nothing to do with your post. Why? To beat Tanager. Once CLT Sr comments, I want to fold my hand, gather my chips and go home sulking. I know I can’t possibly top what he has to say and quite frankly, few can. I do find it doubly curious that CLT Sr and CLT Jr are two of the most gifted writers in this alcove of the blogosphere. Seriously, what are the odds of that, bschooled? First!!”

    • You know, I get that feeling too. If Tanager’s been there, it seems a little ridiculous to try to top it with a Tamer comment. Go figure. He just covers all the bases too well, which I think is due to the fact that he has the narrative focus of a 5-year old Pynchon.

      Still, that’s a great comment. Posting one week in advance would be a hilarious idea, what with the speculation you’d be entitled to.

  4. This looks great, good new blogs are always very welcome where I am concerned.

    I was really intrigued by Clifton’s appearance on Hidden Leaves. It will be nice to learn more about this man of mystery.

    Like an eejit, I did not spot the similarity of initials.

    • Thanks, sd. I’m looking forward to writing a somewhat more focused blog with my usual “too many words” aplomb.

      Don’t feel bad about the inital spotting. It was meant to be somewhat obscured with the longform signature Clifton always uses.

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